Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The bad news is... only lasts one year!!!

IT, would be the very source of love, that has now been found and given the very fetching name "nerve growth factor" or NGF. If ever there was an issue better left alone by scientists I suppose this would be up there on the list.

How can a relationship last longer then? I suppose it is purely a matter of practicality...

Come on my romantic friends, diffuse this terrible science bomb before it is too late: I NEED YOUR HELP!


Some thoughtful thoughts forwarded to me this morning...

#1...Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteriesare getting weak?
#2... Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they knowthere is no money in the account?
#3...Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billionstars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
#4...Why doesn't glue stick to the bottle?
#5...Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?
#6...Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
#7...Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when youthrow a revolver at him?
#8...Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
#9...Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?
#10..If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?
#11..Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubblesare always white?#12..Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?
#13..Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes thatsomething new to eat will have materialized?
#14..Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with theirvacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it downto give the vacuum one more chance?
#15..Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end you first try?
#16..How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?
#17..When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with ashopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, "It's allright?" Well, it isn't all right so why don't we say, "That hurt, youstupid idiot?"
#18..Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's fallingoff the table you always manage to knock something else over?
#19..In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summerwhen we complained about the heat?
#20..How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?
#21..If at first you don't succeed, shouldn't you try it like your wifetold you to do it?
#22..And obviously if at first you don't succeed, then don't take up skydiving!
And my FAVORITE......
#23...The statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons issuffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three bestfriends, if they're okay, then it's you

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Parental Blogging

I recently went back to work full time, which includes a long-ish commute. I never seem to have organised anything good to read, so am left to reflect on recent blog posts, and comments therein.

There was a recent comment that made me wonder if perhaps one of our dear readers was chiding me about my past impatience with other people's small children & their feats of brilliance, given our predilection for bragadocious postings about our own kids.

What I decided on this particular point is 1) fair enough, but 2) a blog is a voluntary activity, whilst being captive in a small room listening to precocious poetry is still exasperating.

Anyway, this convoluted reflection then led to thoughts on 'what purpose our blog'? In my parallel existence, our blog would be full of clever links to clever things, full of witty bonmots, full of crazy ideas, full of Nilsen. And to be fair, many of Torbjorn's posts are pretty clever. But when the laptop is thrust onto my lap, the first thing to come to mind is the thing that is all consuming, my fullest of full-time jobs: parenting.

And there is where our gentle chiding reader has a point: I think in my past life (the one where I got sleep and read books with endnotes and multiple editors) I failed to understand just how all-encompassing this parenting gig is. It all starts so simply (drunkenly??)... and then you find yourself consumed with love/guilt, enchantment/resentment, jealousy/smugness, despair/profound hope. But most of all, joy. The pure unadulterated version thereof.

That joy, that's the killer. After a night of pacing the floor with a heavy ass but sick Lars, he greeted me this morning with a huge grin and the flapping up&down arms that mean "I'm so happy to see you but could you pick me up, QUICK?!?!" And what can you do but grin back and wipe the sand out of your eyes??

So that's what our blog has to cover: the joy. Yes, I am guilty of occasionally thinking mine are the best and the brightest. How do I explain, though, this task that is all consuming and has seemingly erased all evidence of my previous brain?? You've just gotta share that JOY, because the downside is full of the compromises, the shortchanges, the guilt of not doing any of it quite right.

Which is all to say that maybe someday my blog will be full of the carefully crafted prose that comes to me in fragments as I hike to work. But until then you get my kids, because a blog is worth it if it can make you smile.

The meaning of Thanksgiving...

Thanksgiving came and went without any peas...

What I am most thankful for is my wonderful family and the fact that thanksgiving seems to be severely under-commercialised (being wedged between Halloween and xmas and all), and all about eating!

Turkey is all good, but this year it was about the stuffing: most marvelous with two types of sausage and pine nuts, and the gravy: seriously divine. Have I ever mentioned I am a fan of my wife's cooking?

To me thanksgiving will forever be an ex-pat activity (or at least for now, maybe my own house will change it...) I have such awesome memories from England where the booze cruise loot was broken open and Kirsten one year went the full Monty and rubbed the turkey with ricotta and parmesagne -UNDER THE SKIN, before roasting and getting totally blasted with a crew of likeminded gourmands.

Two things are for sure even here in America: Thanksgiving to me is opening the first Port Bottle of the season (I almost cracked open the '94 Brad gave me -then I came to my senses) and getting my neck around the just arrived Beaujolais Nouveau, which this season seems quite "dry". Doesn't make for the easisest drinking tipple, but MAN it bodes well for the vintage frolm the villages!

As an aside, Lars decided (as far as a child can make such a decision) to go sick for the big day; which means he's been in this phlegmatic (read: drugged out) state the whole day, and mostly only wanting to veg out on our laps, poor boy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Snow

So, it is the night before Thanksgiving, and wonder of wonders: snow is falling in Maryland!!!

It started snowing at supper, and Cecilie went amok:
C:"Its SNOWING, its SNOWING, for the first time in my life its SNOWING, isn't it wonderful?"
Daddy: "Cecilie it was snowing last winter, you made snow angels with Mommy and Daddy, remember?"
C: "Hmmm. Yes, the snow came in my eyes, but its SNOWING, its SNOWING, isn't this EXCITING?"

We huddled up in a blanket and went outside to dance while we were singing "Let it snow", snow came in her eyes and we had to go back in... I presume snow goggles should be top of her xmas gift list!

The House...

Peter asked a pertinent question about the house. Hmmm, if I had good news I suppose he thinks we would have posted something earlier...

Well, the good news is we have added another project: replacement windows, to the scope of the project and as a result our timeline is blown to bits. We have come to realize that lead is posing a serious threat to our children's health and as such we owe it to them to abate as best we can before we move in.

The timeline for installation of said windows is January, so here we are, in Silver Spring for yet abother xmas.

So yes, the glories of buying a house built before 1978...

Oh yes, and pics of Jack and Cecilie to keep that interest!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Fashion shows, etc.

Very innocently, since Onkel JonEndre mentioned the idea of a fashion show to show off all the stuff he and tante Marte has found on their trip, Cecilie has been unstoppable... It has been non- stop Fashion Show around this house.

The show is a fairly straight forward concept, you dress up - preferably a dress with a swishy skirt (the stocking cap is her official Princess Hat). Then you dance, on your stage, to The Beach Boys or better still, Elvis aka "Velvis". It works wonders from an entertainment perspective and it really has proven quite effective at dragging out bed-time...

It is simply no use doing a show without one's "shining shoes", or Official Princess Hat for that matter. Mommy is in charge of helping get ready for the fashion show, but Cecilie made my place in the universe very clear: "You can't come to my fashion show Mommy, but I guess you can turn on the music."

Today, she even got her friend Lauren to get in on the gig. Lauren had dug out her blue-ribbon flipflops (perfect for a November playdate!) and they were the perfect accessory to the "butterfly dress". They were All Shook Up and the crowds (Mommies) were surely in awe!

Never thought it would come to this, but I have to say I laughed a lot. Particularly when she took the stage without any underpants...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Other people's action filled lifes - the resolution...

You might remember the story about my brother being held up in the first week at work.

Well, the verdict is back and you will be relieved to hear, I am sure, that the gang is sentenced to 2.5 years in prison - as the prosecution asked for.

In Norway we have a saying "linselus" - "lens lice", which refers to those who somehow manages to get into all the pictures - lo and behold, it looks like the chief investigator is a Nilsen in this one (well, he claims to fill in his witness report - IN THE FRONT WINDOW!!!?)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Pictures Galore

If, like Amanda, you've been missing Nilsen pictures lately here they are...

Pumpkin patch, Halloween, firestation, visitors, things happen and we snap 'em!

Oh, and if you can't get to them let us know and we'll sort you out pronto!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Polka & Caffeine

We found out that Daddy's favorite radio station in Baltimore plays polka on Sunday morning (most bizarre)
C:What kind of music is that I am hearing?
D:That's polka...
C:I don't think polka is very good for young people...

Playing with her dolls, wanting grandma's Coke.
GM: No Cecilie, my drink is only for adults...
C: But when I play with my dolls I am an adult!
[grandma didn't get fooled]

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Washington DC Movies

I realize it's been a while since there has been an update at Nilsenlife, hectic hectic hectic is the reason for that, in three words...

Peter got me thinking, and really, there aren't that many good Washington DC movies. Having said that, Washington doesn't exactly claim to be a movie hot bed, but there are a handful of upstanding citizens of DC in the movie universe.

I think one of my favorite DC movie memories is watching "In The Line of Fire" with Rangvald, Paal & Thomas on our cross continental road trip back in the summer of '93 -- kind of like '69, just better ('69, I wasn't even born in '69 - Brian Adams can have that whole year all to himself...).

There is this scene in the movie at the Lincoln Memorial where Clint's had a talk with Rene Russo and as she walks away, he finishes his cigar and has the following conversation with Abe: If she looks back, it means she's interested. Come on, give me a look back now. Just give me that smug expression and be on your way. [Lilly looks back] Well, Abe? Damn... Wish I could have been there for you, pal.

A monologue of legend I am sure you would agree, but heading up to the monument and actually smoking a cigar while watching the sun set over Washington that same day, was like being in the movies, but better, awesome indeed!

Here's my humble handful, am I missing out on something good (with my score out of 10)?

Enemy of the State (8)
Minority Report (8)
The Silence of the Lambs (9)
Strangers on a Train (9) (a bit of a stretch to call this a DC movie, I know)
Traffic (8)
Wedding Crashers (7)

A number of movies did not make the shortlist...
Air Force One (6)
All the President's Men (7)
Arlington Road (ns)
Clear and Present Danger (7)
Conspiracy Theory (7)
The Exorcist (8) (I know, should be up there, I just don't like it THAT much)
The Manchurian Candidate ('04) (6)
Manhunter (7)
Mission: Impossible (7)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (ns)
National Treasure (6)
The Net (6)
Quiz Show (6)
The Recruit (6)
Spy Game (7)
The Sum of All Fears (6)
Team America: World Police (ns)
Wag the Dog (ns)

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

I kid you not: this is word for word

To set the scene, a few details. Cecilie goes to 'school' once a week: it is a once-a-week, 4 hour deal at a local church. They do all the normal school things, like crafts and stories and singing, then they have lunch, then the last 45 mins they go out to the playground. 9.30 to 1.30 is a pretty long day for a 3-yr old, particularly as it takes things past her nap-time, and usually Miss Nilsen is quite "tired & emotional" by the time we pick her up.

So I'm putting her to bed tonight, yesterday we picked her up before playground and the subject comes up.
Mom: If you wanted, Cecilie, next week you could stay for playground time.
C: Oh, I don't like the playground. I cried.
M: You cried?
C: Oh yeah. I sobbed. And the girls all asked me, 'Are you hungry? Are you hungry?' And I said 'NO, I ate my lunch already!'
M: Well could you just tell them that you're tired and you want to go home?
C: No, you told me I couldn't say that. [in mom's defense, this is not true!]
M: No I didn't say that Cecilie!
C: Yes you did.
M: [trying to redirect] Well, it's okay to tell the truth Cecilie. It's always okay to tell the truth. You could just tell the teachers that you are tired, and they will take care of you.
C: What, does Miss Joan have a car to take me home? I don't think she has a car.
M: No, but she could probably hold you for a minute...
C: Well, she could if she was sitting down, but mostly, she stands up.

Okay. So she doesn't have to go to the bloody playground!

At this point Cecilie reminds me that its actually Grandma who should be putting her to bed [Mommy being chopped liver and all], and says "Grandma can do night night. Daddy said." M: "Oh really? Did he?" C: "Daddy said it could probably be arranged."

And for the record, Lars is officially crawling as of yesterday. So of course all he wants to do now is STAND UP, and walk if there are a handy pair of hands to help out.
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